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Brain Res. 1991 Nov 22;565(1):17-22.

The pharmacological profile of glutamate-evoked ascorbic acid efflux measured by in vivo electrochemistry.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Kansas, Lawrence 66045.


A recently described in vivo voltammetric electrode selectively records rapid changes in extracellular fluid (ECF) levels of ascorbic acid. Using this detector, the nature of glutamate-induced efflux of ascorbate into ECF was investigated using pharmacological tools. Ascorbate signals were shown to be directly related to amounts of microinjected glutamate. Blockers of glutamate reuptake, homocysteic acid and D,L-threo-beta-hydroxy-aspartic acid, virtually eliminate the ascorbate signal. A more specific reuptake blocker (the stilbene isothiocyano derivative (SITS) does not completely inhibit ascorbate efflux, suggesting that the glutamate uptake which is coupled to ascorbic acid exchange is both neuronal and glial in nature. Other pharmacological experiments indicate that excitatory amino acid receptors are not involved in the glutamate-elicited ascorbate efflux; it is primarily a function of the glutamate/ascorbate heteroexchange process as described earlier. The possible role(s) of brain ascorbate in the general functioning of the pervasive glutamate neurotransmitter systems are discussed.

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